REVIEW – Ageless Summoning: Corrupting the Entempled Plane

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  • Bio: "A brief, but precise account of the hellscapes evoked by U.K.’s Ageless Summoning, whose debut album Corrupting the Entempled Plane is due out on Dark Descent Records." - Press release
  • Label: Dark Descent Records
  • Release Date: July 21st, 2023
  • Genre: Death Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

UK death metal supergroup Ageless Summoning came to be back in 2016. Up to this point, they have only issued a demo tape (with seven-inch vinyl reissue later down the line) in 2018. Within its ranks are members of Abyssal, Haar, Of Spire & Throne, Scordatura, and Úir among others. Despite the lineage and the sound of said bands, the five-piece chose to take heavy cues from the USDM scene, largely the dark and oppressive side of Morbid Angel and Immolation according to vocalist Ali Lauder. After roughly five years of studio silence we now brace for impact of their debut full-length effort Corrupting the Entempled Plane.

There may have been a good five years between this and Demo MMXVIII, but those who heard the group’s introductory material can rest assured that not much has changed. The group’s ominous performances on that early recording weren’t quite captured well enough due to the higher pitched rawer quality. For Corrupting the Entempled Plane, this is not the case. “Usurper of the Void” takes advantage of the richer audio quality by throwing nightmarish landscapes at the listener, casting them between trudging bridges and mid-temop carnage that tends to find the leads spiraling out of control the deeper you go.

“Ageless Summoning was inspired by the otherworldly death metal of Steve Tucker era Morbid Angel and the discord of Immolation. We try to emulate the sludgy malevolence and desolate atmospheres of the likes of Gateways to Annihilation and Here In After,”

– Ali Lauder (via press release)

“Toward the Fractal Absolute” builds on the faster chaos “Usurper of the Void” established superbly. While much of the album feels bleak, this one has a fire to the atmosphere that just focuses on being a rollercoaster of brutality that rarely lets up. The ending does trapse back into the gloomier territory, but other than that this is one of the few performances that feels genuinely unique to Ageless Summoning, and a must hear for fans of the genre along with “Epoch of Souls”. After a slight limp at the start, the band start pummeling the listener with a barrage of steady bass kicks that build up the slower riffs and horrific leads reminscent of Blessed Are the Sick-era Morbid Angel with some calming hooks later as a reprieve before diving into further unforgiving plateaus. This is where Ageless Summoning stand their strongest, and thankfully not the only time despite not always feeling too original in the compositions themselves.

“We felt that the unique atmosphere and mythos conjured by that slower-paced, brutal, and hypnotic style were underappreciated and overlooked, and we didn’t know of many bands doing things in that vein, so we thought we’d try it ourselves.”

– Ali Lauder (via press release)

A good example there is “Among the Worms”, which immediately brings “God of Emptiness” to mind with some heated faster paced Covenant-grade material. With the inspirations worn more vividly on the band’s sleeves compared to many others, this cut in particular feels more like a blemish than an homage. The song is solid regarless, weavuing a dark landscape with solid performances, hard hitting bass presence, and a solid gutteral vocal performance that doesn’t give way to the clean chanting style that appeared toward the end of the aforementioned song despite having plenty of moments prime for such a thing to exist. It does take out some of the wind from the sails going forward even on repeat spins, leaving the dismal and sometimes hyponotically slow title track “Corrupting the Emptied Plane” slightly tainted.

“Our goal has never been to just imitate what has come before, but we’re not trying to hide our influences either. We include plenty of deliberate references, but we’re also trying to develop our sound and continue the exploration of vast and desolate otherworlds.”

– Ali Lauder (via press release)

I feel the need to state I haven’t heard every single Morbid Angel effort (six albums in total), so perhaps some claims here may be a bit unfounded. If so, feel free to chastise me in the comment section below. That said, with Ali stating this band pulls heavily from Steve Tucker Morbid Angel, it becomes hard to fault the group sounding so similar. You can, however, be a bit let down with just how much is in there. The more original material like “Epoch of Souls” and “Toward the Fractal Absolute” really stand out and wish the group would traverse a path less traveled. While Corrupting the Entempled Plane is a solid slab of death metal worship for fans of that group’s early material craving more between releases, it stands more a filler for fans awaiting the next effort from the origintors of the sound that will probably be forgetten when that happens.

Gregg Cowell (Guitar), Rory Strachan (Guitar), Derek Wright (Bass), Ali Lauder (Vocals), Hamish Mackintosh (Drums)

Digital review copy of this release provided by Dark Descent Records
via ClawHammer PR.